What to look forward to at the Great American Beer Festival

"I almost felt like I was cheating on my husband.  My night out was not a rendezvous with another man, but instead at the Great American Beer Festival," said Faith Mangan. "After I guiltily left my American IPA-loving mate at home this past weekend, I made my way to Denver's Colorado Convention Center for what’s been touted as the world's largest commercial beer competition and the country's largest ticketed beer festival."

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Beer varieties

More than 3,000 different beers are showcased at GABF. Breweries have to be commercially operating and licensed in the United States to get into GABF.

Faith Mangan

GABF souvenirs

Get your souvenirs early on because the line to pick out t-shirts can stretch rather long as sessions came to a close.  

Faith Mangan

Convention Hall

The convention hall is laid out mostly by regions for beers.

Faith Mangan

Ice cold beers

Brewers also pour ice cold beer from cans and bottles, in addition to drafts.

Faith Mangan

Beers and beads

Beer companies give out holders for tasting glasses.  Mardi Gras beads help the can holders hang around people's necks.

Faith Mangan

Silent Disco

At the Silent Disco, dancers get headsets to rock out, only bystanders have no idea what they're dancing to.

Faith Mangan

Marriage ceremonies

One brewery offers mock and real marriage ceremonies.

Faith Mangan

Brewery signage

Breweries have a wide range of signage and booths. More than 700 breweries participate. The Great American Beer Festival (GABF) is in its 33rd year and keeps growing each year.

Faith Mangan

Beer jewelry

GABF attendees can even shop for jewelry made from recycled beer caps and cans.

Faith Mangan

Festival volunteers

Volunteer beer crew serve beer at sessions and earn free tickets.

Faith Mangan

American Cheese Society

One of the longer lines at the festival, for a buffet of cheese samples from the American Cheese Society.

Faith Mangan

Grilled peach and sour beer

You can take a break and sit in on educational seminars, such as pairing cookout foods with beer. This is a grilled peach served with sour beer.

Faith Mangan

Attendees

49,000 total attend, an average of 12,000 per session.

Faith Mangan

Beer and food demos

There are other opportunities for fun and learning, besides drinking your dinner. Ticket holders can attend demos.

Faith Mangan

Tasting glass holders

Many attendees pick up free tasting glass holders and hang the necklaces around their necks.  It's considered a big no-no to let your tasting glass drop to the floor.

Faith Mangan

Beer goggles

One man literally brought his "beer goggles."

Faith Mangan

Oktoberfest costumes

Oktoberfest styled costumes are popular.

Faith Mangan

Group costumes

It's not uncommon for groups of friends to coordinate their costumes.

Faith Mangan

Hops hat

One of the more unusual headgear items, a hops hat.

Faith Mangan

Hair hops

Serious beer drinkers weave hops into their hair.

Faith Mangan

Bavarian hats

Bavarian style hats are popular.

Faith Mangan

Beer warrior

A beer drinking warrior.

Faith Mangan

Snack necklaces

A hearty version of the edible pretzel necklaces, adding cheese sticks is a tasty twist.

Faith Mangan

Pirates

Pirates!

Faith Mangan

Face paint

Face paint mixes nicely with kilts. 

Faith Mangan

What to look forward to at the Great American Beer Festival

"I almost felt like I was cheating on my husband.  My night out was not a rendezvous with another man, but instead at the Great American Beer Festival," said Faith Mangan. "After I guiltily left my American IPA-loving mate at home this past weekend, I made my way to Denver's Colorado Convention Center for what’s been touted as the world's largest commercial beer competition and the country's largest ticketed beer festival."

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